Skip to main content

Cervical Screening

Volume 115: debated on Tuesday 5 May 1987

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what were the reasons in each case why those health authorities listed in his reply of 6 November 1986, Official Report, columns 580–83, as planning to bring call and recall screening systems into operation by 31 March 1986 failed to do so;(2) in which health authorities the implementation of call and recall cervical cancer screening has been delayed by concern about the capacity of pathology laboratories to cope with the additional smears or of surgical capacity to deal with cases which need treatment;(3) on what dates those health authorities listed in his reply of 6 March 1986,

Official Report, columns 580–83, as bringing call and recall screening systems into operation by 31 March did so, or plan to do so, respectively;

(4) on what dates he expects each of those health authorities listed on 6 March 1986, Official Report, columns 580–83, as planning to bring call and recall screening systems into operation by 31 March 1988, will actually do so.

Health authorities have been asked to arrange with family practitioner committees to implement

Health visitors per 1,000 elderly population (aged 65+)123
19791980198119821983519841985
England41·31·31·31·31·41·31·4
Northern Regional Health Authority1·31·31·41·41·51·41·5
Yorkshire Regional Health Authority1·21·31·31·21·41·31·4
Trent Regional Health Authority1·21·11·31·41·41·41·4

computerised call and recall systems for cervical cancer screening no later than 31 March 1988. Within this timetable the dates on which individual systems become operational is a matter for local planning.

My right hon. Friend has asked Sir Roy Griffiths, deputy chairman of the National Health Service management board, to lead a small team to oversee the implementation of the Government's policy on cervical and breast cancer screening.

Sir Roy and his team are working with health authorities and family practitioner committees to make sure they have viable plans and that the remaining districts implement those by 31 March 1988. Sir Roy will make regular reports to my right hon. Friend.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what additional pathology laboratory capacity has been provided to cope with the extra smears resulting from the introduction of call and recall cervical cancer screening.

Health authorities have been requited to give priority to ensuring that laboratories can meet demand from cervical cancer screening programmes and avoid backlogs. Many districts have been recruiting and training additional laboratory staff. Detailed information on laboratory capacity is not held centrally.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the largest current delay in each health region known to his Department in providing cervical smears through pathology laboratories;(2) in which health authorities, which have introduced computerised cervical cancer call and recall screening, the increase in the number of women covered is being limited by the need for more computer capacity than was originally provided.